Prepare yourself for the longest recap ever. This show has so much going on that I can’t even get it all into my brain at once.
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This episode raises many new questions and gives us answers to questions we hadn’t asked yet. If that sounds confusing, good, because it is.
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Flash Forward: Grant Reads His Confession
THE EPISODE BEGINS with a preview of a later event: Grant, reading, on camera, a confession, admitting that he is a Traveler. This confession is aimed at a very specific audience of one: Kathryn:
“Seven months ago, my consciousness was sent from the distant future into the body of Special Agent Grant MacLaren moments before he would, historically, have died in the line of duty.
Since then, I have assumed his life, his work his marriage pretending to be a man very different than myself.
In truth, I am Traveler 3468, one of thousands of Travelers around the world who have come from a time when life is all but wiped out, to save humanity, to change the path.
I know how that must sound, especially to you, Kat but it’s true.”
Whatever this is about, it definitely isn’t good, and we can be sure that this confession was not Grant’s idea.
Back to the Present: Grant Meets Up With Vincent
At the end of the last episode, the Team receives a video from Vincent’s hostage, Dr. Katrina Perrow.
In the video, Dr. Perrow reads Vincent’s words, stating that Grant must meet Vincent at specific coordinates (47.5549 N, 122.0652 W) in two hours, or Dr. Perrow (and her daughter Ava) will “never be heard from again”.
Well, we now see that Grant has decided to comply with Vincent’s request, and is presently in the process “presenting himself” to Vincent, just having arrived by car at the specified coordinates in Lake Sammamish State Park, Washington State.
Vincent, apparently, has full control of Grant’s phone, displaying a message on its screen, reading: “LEAVE THE PHONE”. This makes sense, as Vincent doesn’t want to get over-written because of some Director-watched cellphone video footage (as Traveler 0029 was in Season 2 Ep. 8).
Grant sits, glowering, in his car until he sees a black SUV approaching from up the road. Once it arrives, the weird-factor increases as identical twin goons (played by Todd Mann and Brad Mann) exit the SUV. Grant receives a pat-down from one of the goons, who, finding Grant’s gun, removes it, tossing it aside separate from its magazine. At this point, shooting Vincent would be too easy of a solution for us to hope for, I guess.
Vincent, finally feeling safe enough to reveal himself, approaches, and Grant opens the conversation by telling Vincent to set Dr. Perrow free. Vincent responds:
“Of course. Soon as we put this to an end.
I’d like to propose a truce.”
Grant thinks this is a pretty stupid thing for Vincent to say, reminding Vincent of their past encounters, which included the kidnapping and torture of his Team and the killing of many other Director-led Travelers. Vincent explains that he did all these villainous deeds to verify that the Director was still “after him”. This behavior seems a little extreme and prolonged just to “verify” something that was already pretty obvious, but okay.
Vincent then informs Grant that his original mission parameters included his almost-instantaneous death. Vincent, by his own admission (in Season 2 Ep. 1) a volunteer Traveler, oddly describes how ‘unfair’ it is that he should be expected to die after his failed mission, even though that was part of the original mission plan. Grant doesn’t care if it’s fair or not, saying something we’ve heard Grant say in the past when others question the Director in his presence: That it’s ‘not up to him’.
Vincent responds with a contemptuously delivered description of the Director:
“No, it’s up to the Director, who has no understanding, no forgiveness, no soul, because it is a machine.”
Vincent says he’s “tired of running”, and Grant suggests Vincent “take a selfie” to “end it right now”, referring to the Director’s ability to instantly over-write anyone who appears on a timestamped/geotagged photo or video that eventually makes it to the future.
But Vincent doesn’t want to take a selfie, at all. In fact, he explains how the “digital age” has created an ever-shrinking prison around his life and the life of his son. Vincent is very afraid of the DIrector finding him, and the increase of networked cameras (smartphones) in the hands of basically everyone makes it nearly impossible to avoid the ever-watchful eye of the Director.
Surprisingly, Vincent now tells Grant that he actually plans to face the Director and receive punishment for his offenses, but wants Grant to leave him alone for a little while in order to ‘prepare his affairs’. Vincent admits that he has stolen his time alive since his planned death, in the process creating a “precious life” (his son, Taylor) who doesn’t deserve to suffer for his crimes against the Grand Plan.
Grant really couldn’t care less about anything that comes out of Vincent’s mouth, so Vincent gives him some motivation to listen and obey, signaling a goon to hold up the tablet he’s been holding this whole time. The tablet plays a video of a captive Kathryn begging for Grant to save her. Uh oh.
Upon seeing the distressed Kathryn, Grant attempts a foolhardy but understandable attack on Vincent, and is promptly and predictably gut-punched by a goon. Vincent tells the sad, fallen Grant:
“if you want to see your wife again, follow this simple instruction Stay out of my way.”
Vincent and the goons drive off, leaving a very angry Grant kneeling on the ground.
Grant gets back in his car, speeding away from the meeting site while comming the Team with an update on the Vincent meeting. Grant tells them what Vincent told him: Stay out of his way and he will soon turn himself over to the Director.
After Vincent’s past actions, no one on the Team believes that Vincent is actually going to do this, but they, by Vincent’s design, have more pressing matters to deal with. Namely, the safety of their loved ones.
Grant tells the Team that he’s heading to Kathryn’s loft, and that they should check in with their loved ones to determine whether Vincent has snatched them or not. Marcy, Trevor and Carly immediately begin calling their respective very important people.
Trevor calls his parents, who are still safe at home. Marcy reports that she can’t get ahold of David, and Carly can’t reach Jeff, either.
As the rest of the Team rushes out to check on their loved ones, Philip smiles poignantly at his turtle, Poppy, who is happily crawling around in her tank. We can see from his face that Philip, no doubt, is happy that he doesn’t have any loved ones in danger, but is sad that he has no loved ones, period. Poor Philip. 🙁
Vincent Chats With Dr. Perrow
The captive Dr. Perrow has now arrived at her destination: a wonderfully modern concrete-and-glass woodland mansion.
Dr. Perrow sits, wrists bound by a zip-tie, in a large room, which Vincent presently enters, flanked by the usual goons. Vincent cuts Dr. Perrow free from her bonds, and Dr. Perrow, teary and panicking, asks Vincent where her daughter Ava is.
Vincent, seeming almost surprised by the implication that he might have had Ava harmed, assures Dr. Perrow that her daughter is safe at home, being watched by one of his goons. In order to verify this, Vincent even allows Dr. Perrow to (very briefly) speak with Ava on the phone. Everything seems fine with the clueless Ava, until she asks her mother when she is coming home.
Vincent hangs up the phone, telling Dr. Perrow:
“Ava is going to see her mother shortly.”
After saying this, Vincent bends down, whispering menacingly in Dr. Perrow’s ear:
“There’s just one more thing I need you to do.”
Yuck. This can’t be good.
The TeaM Checks on Their Loved Ones
Marcy arrives at David’s apartment, and, finding furniture thrown around, correctly guesses this is a sign of trouble.
Gun drawn and calling David’s name, Marcy checks all the rooms just in case. The apartment is empty, so Marcy comms to the Team informing them of the situation. Carly comms back with a confirmation that Jeff and baby are also missing. The distraught Marcy finally comes upon David’s teapot, smashed on the floor, and asks the Team:
“What do we do?”
Grant arrives at Kathryn’s loft, and the door is ajar. He, of course, already knows she’s been kidnapped, so I guess he’s there to look for clues as to where she’s been taken. Well, Grant gets sidetracked by that adoption brochure (from Season 2 Ep. 11) which he picks up off the kitchen counter and sadly gazes at.
Vincent Watches Footage of His Son
Vincent sits down in a dark room, presumably at the mansion, and watches video footage displayed on six monitors mounted to the wall. Instead of Vincent’s usual viewing choice (Travelers being tortured in warehouses), each monitor thankfully displays something much more pleasant and normal: a collection of home-videos of Vincent’s son, Taylor, labeled by date from August 2008 through October 2017.
Vincent picks up a remote, and sees something in one of the videos that catches his interest. Rewinding the video he pauses on a frame showing his own face reflected in a car window, and stares at it as sad music plays. Weird, but the fact that Vincent has allowed any footage of himself to exist, and that it’s in a home video of his son speaks to his humanity in a much-needed way.
Grant Meets With Agent Wakefield at the FBI
Grant informs FBI-Agent-formerly-Faction-now-good-guy-Traveler Wakefield about the current situation, voicing a request that an inter-agency investigation be launched on Vincent.
Wakefield isn’t cool with any of this, and in typical Traveler fashion, now informs Grant of a major (major) development that he could have told him about a long time ago: Wakefield has apparently seen a US Government report detailing the fact that the Department of Defense and Intelligence agencies (including the NSA and the FBI) have become aware of the fact that Travelers exist, and that they are an organization of some kind. Yep. Pretty insane, and pretty terrible for our Traveler friends.
Remember that in Season 1 Ep. 1, Grant 1.0 (and his equally ill-fated partner Walt 1.0) were investigating chatroom communications from a member of our very own Traveler Team, Trevor, who, along with Marcy, Carly and Philip were preparing for the arrival of their Team Leader. That issue was sidetracked when Grant became host to a Traveler consciousness himself, but it shows that detection by law enforcement has been somewhat inevitable from the start, and that the Travelers aren’t nearly as sneaky as they think they are.
Wakefield surmises that this detection happened, at least in part, because Grant used NSA resources to save his Team when they were being held captive by Vincent in Season 1. Apparently, the United States government has come to the conclusion that the Travelers may be a terrorist group, and that the reason they haven’t acted on their information thus far is because they’re “scared as ####”.
Grant, just learning this information, is understandably shocked, and Wakefield further tells Grant that if they move against Vincent at this point, his opinion is they will be drawing way too much attention, something they “can’t afford” right now.
Wakefield then tells Grant that Travelers at the NSA and Homeland Security are working to conceal their activities and presence as best they can for now, but that leaks about this existence of Travelers, at this point, are inevitable.
So, either the Director didn’t know this was happening, or, more likely, let it happen because, in a way our puny human brains cannot understand at this point, it will somehow be for the better in the future.
Grant doesn’t have much to say about all this, and his meeting with Wakefield is cut short by a comm from Philip with the following information: A single location has been recovered from the Team’s Loved Ones’ phones. Upon hearing this, Grant rushes to the location, wherever it may be.
Dr. Perrow Meets With Kathryn
Kathryn is pushed into the room where we recently saw Dr. Perrow meet with Vincent. Dr. Perrow is still there, but Vincent is not.
Dr. Perrow has cleaned up significantly since the last time we saw her, and is no longer crying or outwardly panicking.
A goon slaps some kind of wireless sensor onto the underside of Kathryn’s wrist, then picking up a tablet to verify that the sensor feed is live. We see that the sensor is measuring blood pressure, blood oxygen level, and heart rate, probably for lie-detection purposes. Goodness only knows why Vincent would need this, as he already seems to know more about everyone involved than anyone else. Kathryn knows better than to object, and Dr. Perrow jumps right in, introducing herself while quickly rejecting Kathryn’s questions about where they are, and why.
Dr. Perrow tells Kathryn that she’s “not permitted” to tell Kathryn anything, and is instead there to ask Kathryn questions:
“There are questions I’m supposed to ask you, but I want you to know that I am also doing this against my will.
They’ve taken my daughter, Ava.
Now, if we just work together and do what they want, they’ll let us all go.
Can we do that?”
Kathryn, probably moved by the fact that Dr. Perrow’s daughter is in the dangerous mix, nods wordlessly, so Dr. Perrow jumps right in:
“When did you first notice changes in your husband?”
Kathryn, in the middle of drinking from a glass of water, appears to be shocked by the question. Remember, she literally has no idea what is going on or who is behind all this.
Flash-forward: Carly’s Video Confession
Just as we saw Grant’s recorded confession at the start of this episode, we now see Carly’s version of the same. Carly is, as usual, taking a “the best defense is a good offense” stance:
“It’s all been for the greater good.
The lives lost when Van Huizen exploded ensured the survival of millions who would have died just over a year from now.
Millions of people who have no idea how close they came to the end, and they were saved by Travelers.
That’s what we do.
Carly Shannon historically died at the hand of her drunk, abusive boyfriend. And now, instead of her child being raised by a dead-beat father, he is surrounded by love. My love.
Jeffrey Conniker Jr.will grow up to be a good man, and millions of people around the world won’t suffer from the Helios catastrophe.
So do you know what I have to say about coming here, and taking this body, and doing our work? You’re welcome.”
In case you forgot, the “Helios catastrophe” Carly references here is the historical future catastrophe detailed in Season 1 Ep. 6, wherein a large meteor was set to strike the earth in 18 months. Now, 6-ish months later in the show, this countdown has been reduced to “just over a year”, The meteor strike, historically, caused massive loss of life along with global chaos that was believed to have led, in part, to the eventual terrible future the Team came from.
The Team (possibly) prevented this disaster from happening by using the unlikely strategy of exploding stolen antimatter in order to power a giant laser that (again, possibly) bumped the meteor off-course just enough to prevent its impact with earth, in the process ‘hopefully bringing the nations of the world together’ through the near-miss.
The Team’s mission to bump Helios-685 off-course with the earth took them to the Van Huizen antimatter storage and production facility, resulting in the deaths of some soldiers and employees there. Upon detonation, the antimatter explosion blew up the plant entirely, so you can see how the not-so-in-the-know intelligence agencies might be likely to view this incident as terrorism.
Considering the probable lives saved and terrible future averted, it’s no wonder that Carly chose to detail this mission as justification for her actions, and for the existence of the Traveler program in general.
The Team Finds Their Loved Ones’ Phones
The Team arrives at the location their loved ones’ phones led them to, which appears to be another empty warehouse or storage space of some kind. Well, almost empty, as the Team is greeted by a little typical Vincent weirdness. On the far end of the room sits a table, and on that table sits five phones, arranged in a row. Trevor recognizes one of the phones as belonging to Grace, someone we, and the Team, didn’t know was threatened by the malevolent Vincent until just now.
Behind the row of phones sits an old CRTV, which displays a message, reading:
“YOU BROKE OUR AGREEMENT.”
Not to quibble, but the Team didn’t actually agree to anything, but Vincent is never one to be overly burdened by truth-telling.
Upon seeing this message, the Team members look at each other helplessly, knowing that they have been outmaneuvered, yet again, by the (almost?) prescient Vincent.
Simon Works on Vincent’s Consciousness-transfer Device, Again
In a room we’ve never viewed before, we now see Simon, just like in the good old days in room 21c, back to working on the consciousness-transfer device. Vincent is there, harassing Simon about how long he’s taking to complete the device.
Something has happened since we last saw these two working together on this device. Last we knew, the project had been abandoned by Vincent due to the impossibility of obtaining then-unobtainable materials needed to complete the device, including the extraterrestrial mineral contained within the meteorite from Season 2 Ep. 7.
As far as we know, Vincent never got his hands on any of that meteorite mineral, but for some reason it now appears that he has renewed hope for the completion of the consciousness-transfer device, Not only that, but Vincent appears to be on a tight schedule, expressing his need for the device to be up-and-running as soon as possible. Like, today.
Simon is feeling pretty optimistic as well, having apparently told Vincent that completion of the device “wouldn’t take long”. That being said, he’s currently experiencing unexpected delays due to the “interface” overheating.
Vincent, manipulative as usual, reminds Simon that all of this is being done ‘for him’. Simon responds by saying something interesting:
“You said “multiple uses”. Multiple transfers.”
Vincent doesn’t explain what his “multiple transfer” plans are, instead becoming annoyed at Simon’s comment, and repeating the promise that keeps Simon perpetually on his hook:
“Yes, and then we’ll take care of you.”
Dr. Perrow Meets With David
The Prisoners Introduce Themselves
Now it’s David’s turn to talk to Dr. Perrow in the mansion meeting room. He sits, staring into space, doing pretty much what you’d expect: apologizing for his demeanor and explaining that he’s “never been kidnapped before”
As with Kathryn, Dr. Perrow isn’t at all interested in addressing any of David’s questions or ruminations, instead wanting to get through her own questions as fast as possible.
As requested, David gets on with it, answering a question (which we didn’t hear) by confirming that he was indeed Marcy Warton’s social worker. At this point, in addition to asking about Marcy’s well-being, David asks how Dr. Perrow “knows” her. Dr. Perrow assures David that Marcy wasn’t kidnapped, and is therefore “safe”, but doesn’t respond to David’s other question.
Dr. Perrow, again, mentions that her own daughter was kidnapped along with herself and David. In typical fashion, David expresses some sympathy for his interrogator’s predicament. Dr. Perrow doesn’t care about this either, continuing with her questions by asking David if Marcy’s “cognitive abilities” had at some point changed overnight. David confirms this did indeed happen, calling it, as he did in Season 1 Ep. 1, a “miracle”. Very quickly, David also spills the beans about Marcy’s story that she works undercover for the FBI, and that Grant is her boss.
Dr. Perrow rebuts this, opting to inform David of the actual truth: Marcy is actually not Marcy, she’s a time-traveling consciousness that took over Marcy’s body.
David thinks this is “the stupidest thing he’s ever heard”, and, wide-eyed and scoffing, asks a seemingly offended Dr. Perrow:
“Lady… what the hell have you been smoking?”
Conversation apparently over, David is goon-tossed into a large room. A room containing a collection of characters whose meeting is definitely not in the best interest of the Team.
Upon entering the room, David immediately encounters the only conscious prisoner: a fearful Kathryn. Also in the room are an unconscious Jeff, Grace and Ray (played by Ian Tracey) slumped in chairs in the middle of the room.
Who is Ray, you ask? Well, we haven’t seen him in a while. He’s Philip’s lawyer from Season 1. Just to recap, immediately after his arrival, Philip 2.0 was in trouble with the police for not calling 911 after Philip 1.0’s friend ODed on heroin. Ray got Philip out of this legal trouble with the help of some historical information leading to winning horse-race bets. Eventually, Ray ended up being more of a friend to Philip, buying him his turtle Poppy and getting him into a Narcotics Anonymous group.
After Marcy expertly kills a Faction (?) assassin in David’s apartment in Season 1 Ep. 12, Philip and Marcy send Ray to get David out of trouble with the police, so David knows him too.
Anyway, David and Kathryn introduce themselves to each other, and Kathryn asks David if he knows any of the three still-unconscious members of the captive group. David, surprised, says he does. First recognizing Ray, then Jeff (who went after David briefly due to his connection to Marcy and Marcy’s connection to Carly).
In an attempt to rouse him, David shouts at Ray, but this attempt fails, and Kathryn mentions that she “already tried yelling”.
David tells Kathryn that he also recognizes Jeff, telling Kathryn that Jeff is a police officer who once interviewed him “about Marcy”. When Kathryn asks who Marcy is, David says wryly:
“Apparently a time traveler from the future.”
Kathryn responds, referring to her meeting with Dr. Perrow:
“She said my husband was, too.”
Both Kathryn and David insist that neither of them believes this seemingly insane claim. At this moment, Jeff regains consciousness, ready to add a little more chaos and rage into the mix.
Jeff, to his credit, immediately asks where baby Jeffrey is, but when Kathryn apologetically informs him that baby is not with them, Jeff immediately recognizes her. In case you forgot, Jeff caused a lot of trouble for the Team in Season 1, at one point approaching Kathryn in order to inform her that Carly and Grant were having an “affair”. Kathryn, however, has no memory of this conversation with Jeff, because the Team gave her a memory inhibitor in Season 1 Ep. 10, erasing her memories of meeting Jeff and of the plane crash in Season 1 Ep. 9.
Chaos ensues. Kathryn is disturbed that she doesn’t remember this supposed Jeff meeting, and obviously that the content of their conversation involved her husband being unfaithful. David recognizes Carly’s name when Jeff mentions her, having previously met Carly as “Marcy’s friend”.
Jeff has decided on a whim that this kidnapping was Grant’s doing, but David and Kathryn disagree. David mentions casually that he “doesn’t think this is an FBI thing”, and Kathryn asks him how he knows that her husband is in the FBI. Well, David says, isn’t he Marcy’s boss?
At this point, Jeff remembers who David is, describing him as “the social worker creep that was screwin’ around with the retarded girl, Marcy”. David responds with “That’s a hateful word”, and Kathryn yells ” Who the #### is Marcy?!”. Jeff tells some of the Marcy story to Kathryn, but soon grows tired of all the information exchanging, instead opting to go to the door, pound on it, and yell threats at the goons who may or may not be outside. Nothing happens, except Grace begins to wake up, saying:
“Do you have be so loud?”
Grace looks around the room, recognizing no one. David introduces himself and the other prisoners, detailing their relationships to Carly, Marcy and Grant, along with the fact that they “may or may not be time-travelers”. Though Grace doesn’t let on, she now must know enough to realize that she is in real trouble. Here she is, mixed in with a group of civilians heavily involved with Grant’s Team. People who, had everything been going well, would have never met each other. Also, someone told them that these three Team members are time-travelers, and that’s really really not good.
Grace, stunned, tells the group that she is a “high school guidance counselor”, which, as David sarcastically puts it “makes perfect sense”.
At this point, the twin Vincent goons burst into the room. One advances quickly toward Kathryn, casually pushing David on his way there. The goon grabs the protesting Kathryn, and Jeff decides that it would be a good idea to yell at the goons to let Kathryn go. In response, one of the goons grabs Jeff, effortlessly tossing him into a wall. Conflict ended, the goons rush from the room with Kathryn, closing the door behind them. David stares at the door, helpless, and an unfazed Grace points to the still unconscious Ray, asking:
“Who is he, again?”
David, without turning around, responds:
“He’s my lawyer”
The Team Gets a Message From Kathryn
Back at Ops, the Team receives a message from Vincent, via a tearful Kathryn:
“Grant, in order for me to be released unharmed, you must confess to being a… Traveler, on video. You have one hour to send it to this IP, or they’ll kill me.”
After Kathryn’s message is complete, a textual message from Vincent appears on the screen, reading:
“IT’S TIME THE WORLD LEARNS WHO YOU TRULY ARE”
A timer counting down from one hour appears as well. Grant stares at the screen, saying nothing.
I’m not sure what Vincent’s plan is, here. He doesn’t like the Director or anyone who follows its orders, sure, but how would exposing the entire Traveler program benefit him? Travelers may be hunted and imprisoned, sure, but as he is a Traveler himself, this could go in a very bad direction for him as well.
Ray Wakes Up in Captivity
Ray wakes up in his chair, and, looking around, says:
“####, not again…”
Upon rising, Ray recognizes David, who informs Ray that they have been kidnapped. Apparently, though, this isn’t Ray’s first time. He is under the mistaken impression that someone he owes money to (named Vargese) has kidnapped them all.
Ray asks David if this has anything to do with the assassin who was killed in his apartment in Season 1 Ep. 12, and David says “…maybe?”. Jeff, being a police officer, is disturbed by this, asking “What?!”. Before they can get any deeper into this topic, the goons re-enter the room. This time, they’re going for Ray, who, though protesting, goes along without much trouble as the goons remove him from the room.
The Team Tries to Save Their Loved Ones
and Maintain Protocol 1
Back at Ops, the Team argues. Even though it violates Protocol 1 (“The mission comes first”), Grant expresses his intention to record the Vincent-ordered video confession in order to save Kathryn. “Sorry”, Grant says, “but I can’t let my wife die”.
Marcy agrees, saying she would also like to save David. Carly starts to freak out, saying that though she wants “nothing more” than to hold baby again, “the mission comes first”.
This is interesting. Carly, who fights so hard to retain her parental relationship with baby, is still more dedicated to the Director in the end. Probably not what I would have guessed, but it does fit, in a way. Carly is constantly pulled between what’s good for baby and her missions from the Director, and she doesn’t always seem to know which one matters to her more. In this moment, she chooses the Director, but Grant and Marcy don’t.
I believe her panic is due, at least in part, to her legitimate fear of Team members being over-written at any moment for the offense of even discussing their possible mutiny, but nothing has happened, yet.
Women Popular Clothing for Gamiss
Philip to the rescue, as he quickly comes up with a potential solution that can get the Team everything it wants all at once: Record Grant’s confession and send it to Vincent, but embed a virus in the file. A virus that would theoretically enable Philip to corrupt all copies of the confession video remotely once the Vincent threat has been neutralized.
The Team agrees, sort of, and Grant immediately begins recording the confession we saw at the beginning of the episode. As far as the Team can tell. the fact that they have not yet been over-written indicates that the Director is cool with this plan. As Philip says, “still not struck by lightning”.
Simon Continues to Work on the Consciousness-transfer Device
Simon, with Vincent watching, is still working hard on the consciousness-transfer device. Simon switches the device on, and for a moment, thinks it’s working. His hopes are quickly dashed as the device catches fire. Not totally on fire or anything, just partly on fire. Simon shuts everything down, puts out the fire, and is very frustrated that it didn’t work. Vincent, of course, yells at him:
“Can you fix it?!”
Dr. Perrow Meets With Ray
We don’t see much here. Ray, sitting with Dr. Perrow, appears to believe the claim that Philip is a time-traveler (which Philip did tell him almost immediately upon their meeting in Season 1), but expresses sadness that he’s apparently Philip’s “only friend”. Ray describes this as “tragic”, which is probably something all viewers can agree with.
Dr. Perrow Meets With Jeff
In the meeting room, Jeff sits sullenly in the chair across from Dr. Perrow. A goon steps forward, villainously pouring Jeff a glass of brown liquor. All the other prisoners got water, by the way, so this is clearly some kind of sinister Vincent ploy. Right on cue, Dr. Perrow asks Jeff:
“How are things at home?”
Jeff reaches forward, and, pushing the untouched glass of liquor away from him, asks where his son is. Dr. Perrow says that baby is “okay, for now”, again mentioning her kidnapped daughter while stressing that Jeff co-operate. Dr. Perrow ends with:
“There are some things about Carly you need to know.”
Wakefield is Not Happy About the Grant Confession Video
Grant and Wakefield meet at the FBI. Apparently, someone connected to Wakefield intercepted Grant’s video “during her routine scan for Traveler activity”. Yikes, that doesn’t sound good.
Naturally, Wakefield is not happy, but Grant assures him that they can corrupt the video using Philip’s virus scheme once they ‘flush Vincent out’. Either way, it’s too late to do anything about any of this now. The video is out there.
Flash-forward: Philip’s Confession Video
Time to see Philip’s confession video, which contains some much-welcomed bits of information about the nature of a Historian Traveler:
“Those with my specialty are chosen as infants in order to develop their minds to specifically serve the Traveler program. Some days I felt like an experiment, other days like a super-human. Today, I’m…
The Director has kept watch over my entire life, knowing the outcome of every decision, crafting my path forward, but here, I see people every day who still believe in free will. They don’t know any better.”
Interesting, for sure. So, part of being a Historian is being chosen, as a baby, for natural Historian compatibility, and part of it is training, presumably done in order to perfect a Historian’s ability to mentally record large amounts of data.
My question was, and still is, this:
Was something done to Philip’s original, pre-transfer, physical brain, that changed the very nature of his consciousness itself in a manner that enabled his Historian ability? The Historian ability is so extreme that I don’t see how it could be possible without technological alterations to the human brain. The “open memory chain” stuff we’ve seen in other episodes definitely supports this theory, as well.
In his confession video, Philip expresses his belief that the Director controls everything, even to the point where free will itself no longer applies. That being said, we have seen Philip, on numerous occasions, choose unilaterally (with his free will) to change the historical future, so maybe he’s just feeling particularly gloomy today. If that’s what this is, who can blame him?
Back in Captivity, Kathryn Wonders if Grant Really is a Traveler
Finished with his Dr. Perrow meeting, Ray is pushed back into the prisoner room. Kathryn cries, asking the group if they think it’s possible their loved ones could be time-travelers after all, citing the personality changes she observed in Grant starting 7 months prior as possible evidence of this.
Grace, hilariously attempting to make time-travel sound ridiculous, says:
“Oh, please. Like time travel is actually possible? Okay, maybe you could send information in the form of some coherent energy across space-time, but to calculate an exact position would require an almost impossible level of accuracy, not to mention nearly a billion zettaflops of processing power, and then to unpack it somehow, without entropy, in a… biological…”
Host. She was about to say “biological host”, but caught herself.
Grace trails off when she realizes her words aren’t having the intended effect of making time-travel sound absurd, instead making her look like the imposter she is. Ray asks:
“What do you do again?”
Kathryn, incredulous, answers for Grace:
The Team Receives a Message From a Battered David
At Ops, the Team receives another message from Vincent, this time from a badly-beaten David. One eye completely swollen shut and bleeding from the mouth, David pleads with the Team, and Marcy in particular:
“He knows you tampered with MacLaren’s recording.
Now each and every one of you must record your own confessions, or we will all be killed.
Marcy, I just want to go home. I just wanna go home.”
As you’d expect, Marcy cries, silently, while watching this video, her heart obviously breaking for David. Now head-over-heels for David, this is the perfect way for Vincent to get to Marcy in particular. Vincent could just beat up Kathryn, of course, if he really wants to cause chaos for the Team, but I have a feeling that Vincent is a little wary of messing with Grant more than he already has, for some reason.
Now we’re caught up to the reason the whole Team records their own personal confession videos. After Philip embedded a virus in the Grant confession video, Vincent has decided to ramp up the pressure.
Back With the Prisoners
In the prisoner room, Ray concocts a plan to “jump” the two Vincent goons, and Jeff agrees to help him. Grace expresses the pessimism we all feel about this plan:
“Oh, I can’t wait to see this.”
The door opens, and the injured David is pushed inside. David asks if his eye is okay, and Kathryn tells him that it’s “just” swollen shut.
Jeff marches forward to fight the goons, but David grabs his arm, cautioning: “Don’t”. Jeff, interestingly, listens, backing off.
Grace, last in line for her Dr. Perrow meeting, goes along with the goons without a fight,
Marcy Records Her Confession Video
Marcy, tearful after seeing the beaten David on video, makes a rather David-centric confession video:
“My purpose is to save lives, whether that’s a teammate in jeopardy, or someone that’s part of a mission ordered by the Director. But I can’t help but think that I’ve put one person’s life in more danger than they deserve.
David, you’ve suffered because of me, and there’s just there’s no excuse for that. I cared enough to leave once. I should have just stayed away.”
Marcy doesn’t focus much here on the fact that she’s a Traveler, which makes this pretty different from the other Team members’ confession videos. I’m not sure I agree with her statement that she “should have stayed away”, as that would reveal her care for David just as much as her sticking around, but considering the circumstances, I understand her apology.
Simon Gets the Consciousness-transfer Device Working!
Simon has now cooled the consciousness-transfer device room down in an attempt to combat the overheating problem he experienced on his last activation attempt. As Simon works on the device, Vincent sees the light at the end of the tunnel, which prompts him to make a weird speech about his religious(?) beliefs:
“For 2,000 years, mankind believed that God was created in his image, guiding our lives, hearing our prayers.”
“But when those prayers weren’t answered, we just chalked it up to His divine will. But then mankind created the power to build God, a machine more powerful than any human mind could ever be”
“The fate of our existence just handed to an AI with the ability to monitor each and every shifting timeline, while we blindly obey its orders with the belief that salvation will come.”
“The problem isn’t the fact that we believed in God…”
Simon, throughout this speech, has been attempting to convince Vincent to grab him a Philips head screwdriver so he can finish the device, but Vincent is in his zone. An impatient Simon, in the interest of time, finishes Vincent’s sentence for him:
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“It’s that we didn’t believe in ourselves.”
But Vincent isn’t done, finishing his speech with this:
“It’s time to pull back the curtain and take control of the present, to fight for our future.”
Okay. So, wait. The purpose of this device is to save humanity? I know what Vincent says here could be interpreted in various ways due to how vague it is, but that’s my interpretation.
Perhaps this Vincent is a hallucination (he didn’t get the screwdriver for Simon, so we can’t be sure he’s real in this scene) concocted by Simon’s schizophrenia, and these aren’t Vincent’s beliefs at all. Or, maybe this Vincent is real, and his plans for the consciousness-transfer device go far beyond some limited number of transfers.
One more important point here: It’s possible that, in addition to the consciousness-transfer function of the device, Vincent may have just invented a time-travel machine much earlier in the timeline than planned. We have no evidence of this, of course, but it is possible he has somehow obtained what he needed for this purpose. Who knows, but it’s something to keep in mind going forward.
Vincent and Simon stare at the finally-working device. Vincent, happy at last, puts his hand on Simon’s shoulder, smiles, and says:
“Simon We can finally fix you.”
We’ll see about that. Vincent, hallucination or not, is a liar.
Dr. Perrow Meets With Grace
Grace, now in the Dr. Perrow meeting room, is being deliberately anti-social. Dr. Perrow starts her questioning, and interestingly, these questions are not at all similar to the ones the other (non-Traveler) prisoners received. They are the questions Vincent asks Travelers when he kidnaps them, which doesn’t bode well at all. Grace responds to the questions mockingly, as a child might:
(DR. PERROW) “When are you from?”
(GRACE) “When are you from?”
(DR. PERROW) What is your mission?
(GRACE) What is your mission?
(DR. PERROW) What is your specialty?
(GRACE) What is your sp-?
At this point, Dr. Perrow has had enough, and interrupts Grace, looking somewhat annoyed:
“All right, enough! You can stop pretending, Traveler 0027.”
Grace looks shocked, and responds: “sh##…”
Philip Loses Control of the Confession Videos
Back at Ops, Trevor mentions that copies of the video confession files have, at this point, been distributed on servers almost worldwide, and asks Philip how things are going on his end. Philip tells the Team that he’s been “locked out”, and so cannot utilize the virus to corrupt the confession videos, as he planned. Apparently, Vincent is good enough at this that he has easily defeated Philip’s pretty smart plan. Philip has pretty much given up on this particular battle, saying:
“The world is about to find out who we are.”
With that, Carly starts freaking out again, wondering why the Director hasn’t “stepped in” to fix their problems. Trevor responds somewhat comfortingly:
“We must eventually find a way to solve this. If not, it had its chance to over-write any one of us when we recorded our confession.”
It’s disturbing, but true, and does make things seem more hopeful.
At this point, Philip’s computer suddenly displays a new message from Vincent: “HAPPY HUNTING”.
Along with the message, Philip tells the Team that he’s receiving a bunch of information on locations/hardware numbers of devices that are housing the errant video files, and tells the Team that Vincent is “making us work for it”.
At the FBI, Grant Talks to Wakefield Again
Wakefield, in his office angrily yelling at someone on the phone, tells the person on the other end:
“He’s a psychotic recluse! You’re asking me if time travel is possible. You say that out loud again, and slowly.”
With that, Wakefield hangs up the phone, and Grant walks into his office. Wakefield tells Grant that someone has obtained information on the Travelers and is sending it to “all the major news outlets”. Grant hopes that “21st-century skepticism” will cause the public to disbelieve the contents of the video, but Wakefield tells him that the skepticism of some won’t be enough to contain the truth. It’s all over now. The Travelers are about to be exposed to the world.
The Prisoners Watch the Confession Videos
Back in the prisoner room, each prisoner (except the still-absent Grace) has been given a tablet (complete with headphones), and is watching the Traveler confession video of their particular loved one.
The goons return to the room with Grace, this time with Dr. Perrow along for the trip. Grace looks shellshocked, no doubt from whatever happened after Dr. Perrow confronted her about being a Traveler. I don’t know how much, if anything, Grace knew about Vincen before her kidnapping, but whatever she’s learned today has been a rude awakening.
The events of this episode may have shaken Grace’s faith in the Director, yet again, after her faith had already taken a recent hit from her traumatic experience in Season 2 Ep. 8. The Director didn’t stop her kidnapping. It didn’t stop Vincent. That must be a little disappointing, even if all this ends up being the best thing for the future, somehow, eventually.
Dr. Perrow says to the prisoners:
“If you have any questions about what you’ve just seen, feel free to ask Grace. She’s one of them.”
Dr. Perrow speaks that last sentence with an obvious distaste, which seems a little odd, considering she has no personal ties to any of the prisoners, and, at least up until today, didn’t believe a word of what Vincent told her about his time-traveling past.
Anyway, with that, Dr. Perrow shuts the door, leaving the prisoners alone, staring at the awkwardly silent Grace.
Dr. Perrow finally exits the mansion, task apparently completed to Vincent’s liking, and a car pulls up. Dr. Perrow gets inside, calling her daughter Ava to inform her that she’s going to be home soon, and that she loves her. The car then departs from the mansion. Dr. Perrow is free.
Simon Gets “Made Whole”?
Back in the consciousness-transfer device room, Simon lies on the chair at the center of the device, ready to be transferred into a new body. Whose body, and where is it? I have no idea. There is no one else in the room, so whatever is about to happen, it’s going to be done remotely.
Vincent comes to say goodbye, and Simon, afraid of what he’s about to go through, requests that he stay. Vincent agrees, and Simon thanks him, very grateful. As the camera zooms out, we see that Vincent isn’t actually there, and that Simon is totally alone in the room At least this time, Vincent was a hallucination.
The consciousness-transfer device is not activated while we watch, so we don’t know what happens to Simon here.
By the way, in case you’re confused, we now know that the Simon scenes in this episode are not chronologically happening at the same time as when they are shown in this episode. It looks like all these scenes probably happened chronologically just prior to the kidnapping of the prisoners.
We See Trevor’s Confession Video, and “Vincent” Gets Over-written
We now see Trevor’s confession video, wherein he reminds us of his advanced age and reveals a very interesting detail about Traveler technology:
“I was part of the original test program for consciousness transfer, something we had to master before we could even dream of traveling back through time, and I lived in many bodies, which makes me one of the oldest living people in human history.
I’ll never forget what I saw the first time I woke up: my former body, with glassy eyes, staring back at me. There was no one in there anymore.
Just a husk.
That image stays with me everywhere I go.”
At this moment, we see Vincent, still sitting exactly where he was near the start of this episode, watching home videos of his son Taylor. A fly lands on his face, and Vincent doesn’t move a muscle. His eyes are still open, but for some reason, it looks as if he may be dead.
A goon enters the room, wheels Vincent’s chair (with him in it) over to a computer, turns on a webcam pointed at Vincent, and leaves the room.
Within seconds, we hear the static sound of the Director, and Vincent jumps in his chair. Over-written? Kind of.
Vincent leans in closer to the webcam, and says:
“Traveler 5692. Arrival successful.”
Meet Vincent 3.0.
Trevor’s confession, describing his first Traveler experience and especially his ‘glassy-eyed husk’ seems to have been deliberately placed right when we are shown the immobile, vacant Vincent. Also, no Vincent goon would do anything that Vincent hadn’t ordered, and there was no screaming or head-holding during the consciousness-transfer. All these facts point to the conclusion that Traveler 001 was already transferred out of his Vincent body by the time he was over-written.
Vincent 3.0, hearing the tweeting of birds outside, turns and looks out the windows at the world around him, seemingly taken by the beauty of the 21st-century world.
Goons Remove the Prisoners From Their Room
Ray, again, attempts to make a plan with Jeff to take out the two goons when they come back into the room, but when five goons rapidly enter instead of the usual two, Ray quickly ‘cancels the plan’. Good call.
The goons grab a prisoner each, yank the sensors off their arms, and remove them from the room. Kathryn shouts:
“Where are you taking us?!”
Dr. Perrow is No More: Vincent Ingram is Now Katrina Perrow
Still riding in the goon car, Dr. Perrow watches a news report on a tablet describing how Vincent “exposed” what may be a “new terrorist group”. This new report is describing Travelers, and Dr. Perrow looks oddly, villainously, satisfied as she watches it.
The car stops by a fountain somewhere in the city, and Dr. Perrow gets out, telling the goon who drove her:
“Let me know when you have confirmation that the device has been moved.”
Well, that’s a weird thing for Dr. Perrow to say, and a weird way for her to say it to a Vincent goon. Was she in on the kidnapping this whole time, and is referring to the consciousness-transfer device? Well, no worries, as the answer to this is about to be revealed. Dr. Perrow continues:
“I need to speak with my son.”
But Dr. Perrow doesn’t have a son, she has a daughter.
Vincent, however, does have a son, so… Okay, I get it. Kind of.
Dr. Perrow is now Vincent. At some point during this episode, Dr. Perrow was over-written by Vincent’s consciousness. Dr. Perrow is gone, and Vincent is now Dr. Perrow.
Best I can tell, here is what happened:
Near the beginning of this episode, right after Vincent tells Dr. Perrow “There’s just one more thing I need you to do.”, we see him enter a room where he sits watching home videos of his son Taylor. Vincent pauses on a frame of his own face. Turns out, this was him saying goodbye to his Vincent body.
This wasn’t shown to us, but Vincent’s consciousness was, shortly after this scene, transferred out of his body and into its new host: Dr. Perrow’s body.
I was not aware that it was possible to transfer a male consciousness into a female body, as it’s never been discussed in the show. Then again, we don’t actually know that Vincent originally came from a male body in the future, anyway, More about this in the “Final Thoughts and Theories” section below.
So, now that Dr. Perrow is Vincent, I was thinking of using a hybrid name to describe the new character/host combination, but instead, her first name (Katrina) should do fine. Vincent, in his new body, will now be referred to by me as Katrina.
Anyway, after Vincent says goodbye to his old body, his consciousness was likely transferred (apparently remotely, at least from another room) out of his body, and the process went just as Trevor described an early consciousness transfer went for him, leaving his former body empty. but not dead; “Glassy-eyed”, with nobody home.
Back to the present, the new Dr. Katrina Perrow walks to the fountain, finding Taylor there, playing with a remote-controlled boat toy. Katrina greets Taylor with a “remember me?”, and Taylor does. Katrina asks Taylor:
“Did your father explain to you that you’re going to be living with me for a while?”
Taylor says yes, but that his father didn’t tell him why.
Katrina extends her hand to Taylor and says:
“So that we can be free.”
Taylor looks a bit afraid, hesitating for a few moments, but then takes Katrina’s hand and the two walk to the goon car together.
I’m not sure, but I think that Vincent’s germaphobia may have been cured by his body-transfer. I say this because, as far as I can remember, I haven’t seen him touch anyone anytime recently. Vincent’s “agoraphobia” has definitely been “cured”. I put agoraphobia in quotes, because Vincent’s fear of being in a public, populated area with his face visible was born of a legitimate fear of being caught on camera by the Director.
The Prisoners Are Released
the Travelers Are Exposed
We see Vincent’s prisoners being transported somewhere in the back of a van., looking forlorn. A voiceover of Traveler 001 plays over this, the voices of Vincent and Dr. Perrow at times overlapping, but saying the same words, making it absolutely clear that these two are now one and the same consciousness.
This voiceover seems to be a public statement made by Katrina (probably at a press conference or something) for the purpose of exposing the Traveler program to the general public of the 21st century:
“I’m Dr. Katrina Perrow, and Vincent Ingram has been my patient for the last four months.
For the purposes of this recording, he has asked me to break doctor-patient confidentiality.
This is not a subject one can discuss openly, because frankly, it flies in the face of 21st-century science and what we currently perceive to be possible, but everything you’ve heard is true.
Travelers do exist.”
Jeff’s outlook is bleak, thinking aloud that the goons must be taking them somewhere to kill them, and asks Grace if people “still say prayers in the future”. Grace, uncharacteristically quiet, doesn’t answer, looking very disturbed.
001’s voiceover continues:
“They operate covertly in cells made up of five members, each with a specialty.
Their missions are sent from an advanced AI that continuously keeps watch over an ever-changing timeline.
They are spies, terrorists, and they will not stop until their Director has achieved its primary goal, the Grand Plan.
They are our wives, our husbands, our sons, and our daughters. They know our secrets, they know our future. They gain our trust, our affection, but it’s all a lie.
We must do whatever we can to stop them.”
But wait, the goons are not executing the prisoners, instead cutting the zip ties binding them. One goon then returns an unscathed baby to Jeff. The goon van that transported the prisoners here then leaves, and a black helicopter immediately begins approaching from the horizon.
The helicopter begins to land in front the prisoners, buffeting the prisoners with actual wind as well as symbolically with the winds of change. The Team jumps out, and each member runs to their respective loved one.
First, Grant goes to Kathryn, telling her he was “so afraid” for her safety. Kathryn isn’t into it, stepping back with a finger point and a “Who are you?”. Uh oh. Grant is taken aback by this hostile greeting.
Next, Marcy runs to David, who also backs away from his former love with a “Don’t touch me”. David won’t look at Marcy, who replies with “We can get through this!”, but David, looking down, says “I don’t think so”. Yikes.
Philip goes to Ray and shakes his hand, smiling and genuinely glad to see Ray unharmed, with an apology:
“Ray, I am so sorry that you had to go through that.”
Ray responds calmly:
“I gotta hand it to you, kid, you were straight with me from the start. But let’s not pretend we’re friends.”
Carly runs to Jeff and baby with a simple request:
“Please, let me hold him!”
But Jeff, predictably, doesn’t want to, responding:
“Stay the hell away from my son. You hear me?”
Trevor meets Grace, who doesn’t look any better than when we saw her in the van, despite the fact that she no longer is at risk of being executed by goons. Trevor asks if she’s okay, and she responds:
“I-I don’t know.”
Sirens are heard in the distance, and Grace turns to see a parade of law-enforcement vehicles approaching from down the road. Looks like the Team is going to get arrested again, and they aren’t even trying to get away.
Back to Grant and Kathryn, Grant pleadingly tells Kathryn that he can “explain who did this”. Kathryn doesn’t care about that at all, responding:
“I don’t want to hear anything from you. You killed my husband.”
With this, Kathryn pulls back her arm and delivers a resounding slap to Grant’s face. The screen goes black, and the season is over.
Whew. That’s rough.
Was this Vincent’s plan all along? He never indicated that it was his intent to expose the Traveler program, but this was executed so flawlessly that every part of this episode may have been planned far in advance. Apparently, exposing the Traveler program was not enough for Vincent, though, who also decided to turn all of the Team’s loved ones against them individually. That’s personal.
Note: This cannot be re-done. There are no 17 minutes to fix the problem this time. Remember, the Director sent a Traveler back into Vincent’s vacant body long after this situation was unfixable, which means we cannot go back to before this happened. Ever.
Why did the Director allow any of this to happen? We don’t know, but I think the answer involves the unique nature of the relationship between the Director and Vincent. I’ll get more into this in the “Thoughts and Theories” section below.
Final Thoughts and Theories
Lots to talk about this time. Let’s get into it.
Let’s Talk About the Faction
When thinking about this season, I find it difficult to remember this fact and incorporate it into the rest of the show, but it’s important, so here goes:
From the end of Season 1 all the way up until the end of Season 2. Ep. 6, the Director was offline. That means every mission, every Traveler, and every Messenger we saw arrive during that time period was not from the Director.
So let’s recap what that means. The Faction, or some other undisclosed group/individual did the following:
- Over-wrote the Timeshare Travelers in Season 2. Ep. 2
- Messengered children to prevent the Team and Vincent from shooting each other in Season 2. Ep. 3
- Ordered the killing of Congressman Bishop, the bombing of the Galston building, and killed Abigail (AKA SandStorm) by Messenger
That’s just off the top of my head. Other Travelers were, without a doubt, receiving Messengers and missions throughout this time period as well.
As soon as the Director was reset in Season 2. Ep. 11, the Faction didn’t have the ability to establish T.E.L.L.s. This means that during this time period no consciousnesses could be sent back to the 21st century.
The Team has a brief conversation about this in Season 2. Ep. 6, right before they get the Director switched back on. Philip mentions that he believes the Messengers they’ve been receiving during this time period are from the Faction. So, apparently the Faction can send Messengers without a T.E.L.L.. Okay, noted.
Here’s the problem with the theory that the Faction sent the Messengers:
Even if the Faction did have the ability to send Messengers back into the 21st century during this time period, there is absolutely no way they could have been that precise with their timing and information without the DIrector. It’s just not possible for a human being to do what the Director does. At least, not that we know of. That’s why the Director was made in the first place, after all.
There are more problems with this theory. Namely: Why in the world would the highly destructive and reckless Faction send Messengers back to prevent Vincent and the Team from shooting each other? Them spending their limited resources and time getting that just right does not make sense to me.
This means there had to be another very powerful individual, group, or Director acting during that time. Who or what is it? I don’t know, but this definitely makes things more confusing.
The Problematic Nature of the Traveler Program
All of Vincent’s gripes with the Director got me thinking. Are the actions of the Director and the Travelers… bad? Well, yes, some of them are very very bad.
Kathryn makes the ultimate point at the end of this episode when she tells Grant that he “killed her husband”. She’s right, he did. Not only that, but Marcy killed David’s sweet special-needs friend Marcy, and Trevor killed Trevor’s parents’ son. You get the idea.
I get it. They were going to die anyway. Except… not in every case.
Grant’s transfer in Season 1 Ep. 1 is especially disturbing. Trevor saves Grant 1.0 from falling down an elevator shaft, and the Team waits around for a couple minutes explaining to poor Grant 1.0 what their deal is and how he’s about to die. The Director, and the Team, don’t take into account that they’ve already averted Grant 1.0’s death, instead acting as if it was still about to happen. Creepy, right?
But that’s not all. The way to Traveler programs works is rife with moral problems. Vincent puts it well when he calls them “spies” and “imposters”. The idea of your loved one being “supplanted” (as Katrina put it) by another person while continuing to pretend to be that person is very creepy. Your spouse one minute, a stranger masquerading as your spouse the next. Obviously not okay, and if the relationship continues as it has in Grant and Kathryn’s case, well… It’s really bad.
I get that this only works if you adopt an “ends justify the means” attitude towards life, and I am still very fond of the Team despite their obvious amoral aspects, but I get what Vincent was saying. Not that he’s any better, of course, body-snatching Dr. Perrow, irreparably damaging Marcy 1.0, and who knows what else. He has no moral grounds to stand on, but what he’s saying is still true: What the Travelers are doing is partially morally reprehensible.
The Director Exists in the Team’s Present Time
I wanted to throw this into the mix: Grace, during Marcy’s reset in Season 1, sends data into the future via the “quantum bridge”.
Here’s how it happens: In Season 1 Ep. 11, Grace shows Marcy some code on a computer screen. It is later revealed that Marcy is viewing the reset code for the Director. It’s important to note that what Marcy sees on that screen is “sent back” (forward) to the Director. This means that, theoretically, all of Marcy’s memories, and maybe even her full code, was sent to the Director in the future. This means that it’s possible the Director could have re-written Marcy yet again, solving her whole issue, but I digress.
Why else is this important? Well, it has to do with which time period is causing results in the other. Is the past determining the future, or is the future determining the past?
If the Director can send and receive data from the future, then these two points in time (the Team’s “present” and the Director’s “present” times) are more or less always of equal status in the timeline, both being equally “present” at the moment when they “touch” across the quantum bridge via consciousness-transfer, Messenger, or a reset code.
So this brings up a very important question: Which “present” determines the other? At this point, it appears that the answer is not always the same. When the Travelers in the 21st century do something, the results of their actions don’t always “reach” the Director before they change the future. Sometimes, however, they do.
The way time travel works in Travelers needs its own post. I’ve been discussing it with Mark and will try to get a full write-up done. It would help if we had a quantum physicist to consult with. The show writers definitely do.
What is the Director’s Plan?
So, what the heck is the DIrector up to, exactly?
It purposely hasn’t been resolving the Vincent problem, hasn’t saved the Travelers from worldwide exposure, didn’t save Grant’s baby, hasn’t helped Simon, hasn’t helped Marcy, is basically ignoring Grace, hasn’t helped Philip with his addiction, etc.
Much of this can be explained by simply assuming that the Director has bigger priorities, but it doesn’t get much bigger than the dismantling of the entire Traveler program. I believe I’ve figured out some of this in the “Final Theory” section below
What Happened to the Timeshare Travelers?
One of our readers mentioned that he thinks the Timeshare Travelers are the goons we saw attacking the Team in Season 2, Ep. 10. I do think this is likely, but I don’t think they’re Faction Travelers. Their mute fearlessness reminded me of Vincent’s goons. See where I’m going with this?
I also still think that, because there was no quantum frame in the room with the Timeshare Travelers at the time of transfer, it would have been impossible for the Faction to transfer those consciousnesses, period. So it had to be someone else’s’ doing.
The Hosts Are Still Present
A major theme of this season is the blending of Host and Traveler into one single personality. One of our readers mentioned the striking similarities between Marcy 1.0 and our current Traveler Marcy.
I wholeheartedly agree that this is no coincidence, and that the “memories” Marcy and Grant experienced from their hosts are obviously more than recorded events. These memories affect who they are as people. Are the hosts still in there? I don’t know, but it’s possible that no one is really being “over-written”, just suppressed by whoever entered their body last.
Male-to-female Consciousness Transfer
Is Traveler 001 Human?
I’d like to start this by saying that we don’t actually know the original sex of all of our Traveler Team friends.
We know Carly was originally female, as this was confirmed when Grant hallucinated/imagined her in Season 1. Trevor, we also know, was originally male, hence the nickname “old man”. Because of these spotty confirmations and lack of discussion about the topic, I assumed that Travelers, as a rule, took hosts of their original sex, for some reason.
Either way, Vincent has now, for sure, gone from a male host to a female one. As always, Vincent was looking for a way to cover his tracks, and this is definitely a great way to do that.
I think, though, that this is yet another piece of the Vincent puzzle; Another thing he has done that we’ve never seen done before by anyone else. I don’t think that’s just a coincidence, and I don’t think that’s just because he breaks a lot of rules. I think that Vincent may not have been human in the first place.
Is there any reason that Vincent is necessarily human? Could he not be a test program (maybe even a prototype Director of some kind) sent back, in lieu of risking a human life, into the 21st century? That would mean he had no original sex, and wouldn’t have a problem jumping from male to female bodies.
In Season 2, Ep. 1, Vincent does say that his traveling was a “proof of concept”. He also mentions that he had a terminal illness in his original body, which is why he volunteered to transfer his consciousness into the past in the first place. I know, a computer program can’t have a “terminal illness” per se, but Vincent has proven that he has no issue with reconfiguring the truth, or even lying through his teeth, whenever it suits him.
Vincent also mentions the following, referring to his son, Taylor’s, appearance:
“Fortunately for him, he looks like the host who provided the chromosomes. Not me.”
It could be that Vincent is referring to his original body’s appearance disfigured by his illness, which, if it was genetic in nature, would make sense here. Or, it could mean that Vincent is not human at all, and that Taylor looking like him would result in an equally inhuman appearance.
I just can’t wrap my head around how Vincent knew so much specific detail about the 21st century when it wasn’t even part of his mission to know it. This, in my opinion, speaks to the idea that Vincent isn’t a human being at all.
In Season 2, Ep. 1, Vincent mentions that he volunteered to be the first Traveler because he was dying of a terminal illness. Knowing how much Vincent lies, I still disbelieve his story. It doesn’t add up.
Think about this: Vincent volunteered to go on a mission that included his almost-immediate death, but doesn’t die, and afterward refuses to. The Director could have over-written Vincent for his mutiny at least a couple times (when the Director supposedly Messengered his wife and business partner), but instead opted to request that Vincent “self-terminate”.
None of this is normal Traveler/Director behavior. The Director would normally utilize any Travelers who managed to survive a mission where they were expected to die. This happened to the Team itself when they didn’t die in the Van Huizen explosion, that primary mission they were sent back to accomplish. I have never seen another instance of the Director requesting that a Traveler “self-terminate”.
001 Thinks Something is Wrong With the Director
Readers of this site and characters in this show alike have expressed concern over the actions of the Director.
The concern is this: The Director has, on at least several occasions, taken some liberties in the over-writing department. As Vincent puts it in Season 2 Ep. 1:
“You see, we knew it was possible to send messages directly to the 21st through a host, but we projected a 40% chance that an adult mind might not be able to withstand the shock of transfer.
That’s the whole reason I volunteered to go first! No one would have to die that wasn’t going to die. Artificial Intelligence isn’t supposed to be capable of taking a life that isn’t about to end.
The Director shouldn’t have risked it, don’t you understand?”
It sounds like Vincent is saying the Director is performing actions that it has been programmed not to do. This means that either the Director has been corrupted in its current form, or that it has figured out various loopholes to get what it wants.
Why Hasn’t the Director Killed Traveler 001?
Vincent has a very personal problem with the Director, and no wonder. The Director killed his wife (supposedly in a Messenger attempt, though she never actually spoke a message) and Vincent’s business partner.
I have asked many times: Why would the Director risk the deaths of innocents in order to request that Vincent “self-terminate” and not do it himself?
Furthermore, why would the Director not over-write Vincent’s goons whenever he sees them? The Director has, no doubt, been able to follow Vincent’s general location and can figure out who Vincent’s goons are. For instance, the Director doesn’t over-write the goon, caught on Carrie’s camera, in Season 2 Ep. 7.
Sure, it’s possible (even likely) that Vincent equips all his goons and vehicles with Director-deterring devices, but the Team is pretty aware of that possibility, and is equipped to combat it (as seen in Season 2, Ep. 10 when Trevor blows up the “Space-time Attenuation Device” that was blinding the Director).
Traveler 001 is The Director’s Secret
We have now seen numerous instances of the Director neglecting to tell any Travelers anything about Vincent. This is no accident. The Director is either blocked from talking about Vincent, or doesn’t want to for some reason. Either way, very odd.
We know for a fact that Vincent’s goons were behind the events in Season 2 Ep. 7, but the Team still thinks that was the Faction, acting alone. The Faction and Vincent do seem to be related, but not the same thing. After all, the Faction came into being after the Team traveled to the 21st century, so Vincent wouldn’t really know about them.
Traveler 001 is Now Theoretically Immortal
Not to further complicate things, but I just wanted to mention this. Vincent, now capable of hopping to a new body whenever he likes, now has the ability to live forever as long as he plays his cards right and doesn’t get unexpectedly killed.
With this in mind, is it possible that there is a Future Traveler 001 in the mix? That would explain some of the things that have happened in this season, namely the Messengers during the period where the DIrector was shut down.
Final Theory: The Director is Using Traveler 001 to Do Bad Things
Here we go, I can sort of explain some of the questions I’ve been bringing up all season.
Imagine for a moment that you had rules you couldn’t break, and those rules said that you could not do “bad” things. Now imagine that you also knew everything about everybody, or close enough to everything that you could manipulate them into doing basically whatever you wanted them to do. If you knew enough, you could influence others to do those things for you without you doing them yourself. I believe this is what the DIrector is doing with Vincent, and why it didn’t kill him a long time ago.
The Director is playing a meta-game, intentionally antagonizing Vincent by killing people close to him, putting the Team in his way, and thwarting just enough of his plans to get a (for some unknown reason) desired result. The Director is creating conflict and strategically leveraging it.
Think about it. Vincent should be dead. There is absolutely no reason the Director could not have over-written him when it sent those Messengers instead. It had Vincent’s timestamped location, which is all it needs to establish a T.E.L.L. Even without an over-write, the Director could have just sent Travelers to kill Vincent, and it would have worked eventually.
I think the Director wanted and enabled Vincent to perfect his consciousness-transfer device earlier than it originally happened in the timeline for an unknown purpose. I also think that whatever the Director is going to get out of this is so beneficial to the future that it doesn’t mind sacrificing the entire Traveler program to get it.
In that case, a guy like Vincent would be the Director’s best asset. A murderer looks like a blank check to the Director. If Vincent kills people, then great! Now I (the Director) can over-write them to avert their deaths.
You see what I’m saying?
The Director walks a fine line, and it’s one that various characters and commenters here have mentioned. The truck driver in Season 2 Ep. 7 is the perfect example of this “let the bad guy be bad so I can do something I want to do” strategy in action. The Director doesn’t over-write the goon who eventually kills the truck driver. In the next attempt, the truck driver’s death is now imminent when in previous iterations it was not, so now Director can “legally” over-write him with a Traveler consciousness. It’s targeted inaction on the Director’s part in order to get what it wants in that moment.
This was even brought up about the quantum frame. In Season 2 Ep. 1, when Walt 2.0 (Faction Walt) mentions to Grant that there is a “failsafe” in the quantum frame, that, if tampered with, that would cause it to explode, killing everyone in the area. This imminent explosion would allow the Director to then over-write anyone in the area if someone attempted to tamper with the quantum frame.
In the wise words of Philip:
“Do you really think it’s ethical to plant a bomb, and then take over the people who would have died when that bomb went off?
How is that not circular reasoning?”
Good question, and no one has answered it yet.
So how does this fit in with the Director transferring a new consciousness into Vincent’s body at the end of this episode?
Traveler 001 seems to believe the webcam strategy will trick the Director into thinking it’s over-written him, but it’s pretty obvious when we watch that the body was empty at the time of transfer. Also, the Director could have over-written Vincent in the past, so why does it do it now?
I think the answer to this question is simple: The Director transfers a consciousness into Vincent’s empty body because it knows that 001 has departed from it. This may be an instance of the Director attempting to fool the Travelers into thinking 001 is gone, as well as an attempt to trick 001 into thinking he’s won through trickery.
Where We Go From Here
With the Director purposely sitting on his hands, the Traveler program exposed worldwide, Vincent getting away scot-free as Katrina, the Team’s imminent arrest and abandonment by their loved ones, things aren’t looking good. This makes the end of last season look like no big deal.
Anything could happen next, but I think we’re going to find out more about Vincent’s past, future, and abilities that will bring more things into focus. When the Team fully understands and acknowledges the Director’s betrayal of them, I suspect a schism may occur in the Team. As for the rest of the thousands of Travelers worldwide? I suspect many of them will also turn against the Director, possibly spawning a Faction of their own.
Interesting analysis. I have some different theories.
I think Vincent was the first human traveler. When he was sent into the wrong body and couldn’t complete his mission, he stood with the opportunity of dying for no reason or running away. He took that as a second chance at life. When his wife died, the director might not have mastered the skill of transferring, considering Vincent ended in the wrong body, so it used a messenger. That event made Vincent hate the director and was probably when he started to put his plan into motion.
I also think that side from being the first, he was also a big part of the director program. He has a lot of knowledge and great computer skills. He must’ve known a lot about how the director works to be able to counter that.
Still leaves some questions though. Was Vincent able to get updated knowledge aside from the interrogations?
I also didn’t figure out why we saw the quantum frame in the code.
Whatever happened to Simon after he was put into the device? I have a theory that he got transferred to Grace, why else would Grace have been there?
” I also think that whatever the Director is going to get out of this is so beneficial to the future that it doesn’t mind sacrificing the entire Traveler program to get it.”
What if your premise that the Director is motivated to create something “beneficial to the future” is in error? Playing God-King script writer I would have the Director engaged in exterminating all human life in all possible time lines in order to leave existence to AI’s (or a single AI, the Director). Just destroying all humans in one time line isn’t enough. The Director has to manipulate the entire Traveler paradigm in such a way that it will propagate across time lines to keep humans down, or exterminate humans entirely, across the entirety of existence.
The Director is evil!
Ahh but then it creates a paradox. If humans aren’t around to invent the technology thst resulted in bringing the Director online then the Director would not exist and therefore wouldn’t be able to send travelers back to the 21st century. They have already determined that changing events in the past result in an altered time line. The future our team came from did not have the faction. That existed because they changed the past in such a way that the collapse of shelter 42 (is that the right number?) never happened, giving rise to the faction.
Great recap. I think your idea regarding a discussion of time travel is an excellent one; it seems to me the show is playing with various versions of the concept, often shifting at various times, to move the plot forward. That’s fine, but at some point there has to be some understanding of the rules involved.
Clearly, the Travelers can change the future. And the Director can adapt to those changes (or so we are told). But what if Vincent is changing the future in ways the Director cannot adapt to? What if, by his actions, Vincent has created the seeds for the faction or a future without the Director? That could explain why the Director has not acted — it does not exist. But then, that would mean Vincent would not exist in the 21st, unless one believes in multiple timelines being created, something not endorsed by the show, but referenced in Phillip’s update.
All very interesting. Going to be a looooooooong wait!
There are a few areas that don’t add up for me here – for instance, in what we saw of Marcy’s past, she was a Traveler (I *think*), that was tampered with by Vincent while working as a Dr at the institution… they ‘damaged’ her. We saw that she was actually a Dr of some sort and then used by Vincent and ultimately, overwritten (again?). The host body of Marcy was ‘typical’ then compromised. The, re-loaded yet again. And AGAIN, as Traveler Marcy in the tub.
More thoughts on all of this, but just noting this at the moment.
I don’t think “Marcy 1.0” was a traveler. She would have instantly known what Simon was talking about and had her team get him out of there. What is hard for me to fathome was: did Marcy 1.0 have no friends or family members? Wouldn’t someone have put filed a missing persons report to the police? I mean if you just drop of the face of the planet wouldn’t someone in your life notice? Also, did she have no social media presence either. And I can tell you this, most people who work in the healthcare system have to have extensive background checks. Some even require finger printing. So your are telling me when David found her wondering the streets he didn’t think to take her to the police to see if someone was missing a Marcy? I mean it isn’t like she was all dirty and wearing rags when he found her. She was obviously dressed nicely and was clean. If I found someone with an obvious disability wondering the alleys of a street I would have taken that person to the police to see what info could be found. Also some states require at least an index print for your drivers license. So what, David just assumed she was homeless? I would have been more apt to come to the conclusion she was lost. Also I know money talks but did absolutely nobody wonder what happened to Marcy at her job? I know she was “just”an orderly but come on! And why did Vincent even target her for the experiment in the first place? I mean he could have simply told her to check with the doctor who was on his side anyway. If she made waves he could have just said fire her or send her to anothet ward or something. Unless he knew that at some point she was going to be a host for a traveler but needed her damaged so the reset would need to be done…now my brain hurts!
I think there might be a great possibility, the writers are going to play the “it was just a dream” card. If you think about it Phillip is seeing into different time lines and the longer he doesn’t take his yellow pills the worse it could get. We also had an episode about the director sending back traveler after traveler to save a mission. So what if episode 1 of season 3 is just the team or at least Phillip knows what’s up and they can prevent the full fiasco? I just can’t see why and how the writers would play out that the whole team gets hunted by everyone stuff.
That’s an intriguing thought. The Season 2 finale does rather blow the whole Traveler program wide open. Maybe Philip will move the team to an alternate timeline, one where they were not exposed? ….But that raises a lot of questions in itself, for what happens in the timeline shown in the finale? Do we just leave it behind to be forgotten? It would be something of a cop out but the writers have, so far, found ways to undo past events (eg Marcy, the parachute shooting episode).
Speaking of sending traveler after traveler back to save a mission (sorry if this has already been discussed, I can’t be the only person to have thought of this), in that episode if i recall correctly, if the team failed to collect the meteorite, there would cease to be a Director and cease to be a time travel program (no travelers in the 21st century). That said, after the team failed the first time, there should have been no Director or Traveler program to try again and again and again until they got it right. The first failure should have precluded all that, end of episode, end of show…please someone tell me I’ve missed something.
The director did not over-write those people in season 2 ep. 1 because the director was offline. The faction overwrote those people. That how Grant’s partner became faction. So that pokes holes in that theory. Now that 001 has been overwritten by the director, he can come out as Vincent and say the whole story was a ruse and the doctor has lost her mind
I’m going with the fact Phillip the historian was given an update briefing where he was told he would “see” multiple alternate time lines and he needed to remember to take the yellow pills to stay focused on one time line.
Phillip has not taken the yellow pills for several days.
Base on the above, the end of season 2 was a possible future and when season three opens it will be revealed that everything was an alternate future that did not happen.
This scenario is much easier for the writers to recover in season three.
When Vincent’s talking about “The director shouldn’t have risked it” he’s talking very specifically about his wife and business partner both getting messenger’d to death.
Based on all the rules and premises the show has established before now, overwriting a civilian who’s not about to die is very much an extreme circumstances only type situation and killing Vincent’s wife and co-worker just to remind him to ‘self-terminate’ seems very much beyond the scope of that.
So when Vincent says “The Director shouldn’t have risked it”, he’s not saying the Director made a bad judgement call, but that the Director’s own parameters should have made doing that impossible in the first place. Something has gone wrong with the Director’s code.
Thanks so much for the synopsis! I’m the type of person who needs to know what happened beforehand so I don’t get too much anxiety while watching. But I’m still thinking I’ll have anxiety watching this one….
Your analysis was also great. The only thing I found surprising was why across-gender consciousness transfer would be a problem. Every single book about reincarnation always talks about how people are reincarnated half the time as one sex and half as the other. The idea being that you can’t really learn from living again and again if you limit it to one gender. I actually made a bet with a friend that we’ll eventually learn Trevor did some time as a woman once or twice. It will be interesting to see if we find that out.
On a different topic, what if the Director did Vincent’s transfer because Vincent was going to kill the shrink if he couldn’t get transferred. Now, the Director can send teams to intercept Vincent’s device and program it to do time travel transfer going back to a not-yet-determined point in the past. There’s no reason to believe a machine working from 2018 would have the same past point in history limitation as the current machine, is there? Then season 3 episode 1 could start with a traveler team hijacking Vincent’s machine to create a new “most recent” date, fix a few things in the past and then race toward convergence with the timeline we just experienced in Season 2 episode 12, ending with successfully thwarting Vincent exposing the travelers. That would be a challenge to write so it wouldn’t be too mind-bending but it would be very suspenseful and cool.
Great recaps and analysis all across the show! I just wanted to throw out an observation/ thought. . Did we ever receive any descriptors of Forbes’ traveler? I propose that it may have been a very young woman. This would explain the accidentally going into the wrong bathroom, the lack of driving knowledge, and it would have set a precedent for swapping host genders.
I just wanted to thank you for your extensive work and detail.
in the end of season 12 grant says fuck not those coords where is that
near the end of season 12 grant gets cords from phillipand says something like not again what location was this?
Director wanted all this to happen so that the traveler program will be exposed and there will be no director in the future. And the free will will prevail in the future. Director is an AI programme programme for the betterment of the future.
Interesting analysis. You bring up so many good points. I just finished S2 last night.
My take is a little more straight-forward. I think that the director made some mistakes and Vincent has capitalized on those to further his own selfish agenda – the guy seems perfectly willing to sacrifice humanity’s future for purely selfish reasons.
I am looking at this less from a technical standpoint and more from a storytelling angle. Lets assume that we are dealing with a normal 3-part story – this is the end of part 2 and that usually means that our protagonists appear to be defeated and the bad guy has all the cards. Critically, the director is down but not out.
Assuming that the finale was not Phil’s vision of an alternate timeline (an interesting device that was not explored – apparently – at all) then the travelers are exposed. This actually presents some very interesting storytelling possibilities. The global reaction could be very mixed and after the shock of the truth wears off, I can see some reconciliation and recognition that 21st century people should cooperate with the travelers. I mean, the travelers are generally incredibly dedicated to an overwhelmingly positive goal – saving the future. Could 21st century people volunteer as hosts? Would it be ethical to allow them to?
And is the Grant/3468 hybrid an isolated case? Is some level of fusion actually maybe the norm? Carly sure seemed to form an immediate attachment to her host’s child and Marcy was able to track memories across multiple iterations. Maybe this revelation could help smooth things over for everybody.
The writers have left themselves plenty of room to maneuver going into S3.
Was the location at the end the same as where the sky-diver earlier in the series was landing?
(I dunno. Just thinkin.)
My thoughts are the director has manipulated 001 to create the consciousness transfer system earlier than would normally have happened. I think the director has self preservation as his grand plan. If he was successful at bettering the future he would cease to exist right!? I think he is trying to get himself built in the 21st century so that he can exist in this timeline and therefore any changes he makes to the future won’t kill him. This explains why he has allowed 001 to make the progress that he has done.
It strikes me that Vincent from Season 2 Episode 1 couldn’t be a director-clone. He was sent as a test, to send an email to confirm his arrival and then die. The fact that he chooses to run away knowing his fate doesn’t strike me as code or a present-day director. Plus, given how he chooses to warn everyone in his office would suggest to me that the protocols haven’t been established then.
As others have commented, I think he is some low level runt who got sent back, is resentful and is using his time and knowledge to corrupt a system which sent him back to die.
I think the consciousness of Simon was transfered into Grace.
So I just finished Season 2 and have thought about AI and alot while watching this series.
I liked the synopsis and it is right on point that AI cannot take a life…rule #3 in many of todays movies (iRobot, Eagle Eye, Minority Report, etc) and if the Director is corrupt a virus in the future has done this or from the past. There were many instances in which I believe the Travelers are/were programs who are sent back. Imagine in Season 1 when they defeat Helios…there is a never ending supply of drones on hand to push the button.
I believe the reason Simon build the new Quantum Frame is so Vincent (who may be the Driector v1.0) can send the Director to the 21st where he constructs himself.
It is going to be a long wait for Season 3 for sure.
OK, I want to put something quite simple out there… The Traveler Program was, in essence, “terminated” by The Director because it’s mission is done. The exposure of the Traveler’s worldwide was finally “big enough” to A) be undeniable (unlike many other conspiracies) and B) Make a big enough dent in our perception of “not screwing up our world going forward” to change the future so we didn’t do (or at least didn’t do it so badly).